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After Midnight by Santino Hassell 99 cents! or Kindle Unlimited

    After Midnight by Santino Hassell

Two decades after war ravaged the nation, one of the last remaining metropolises thrives on a currency of sex, drugs, and lies.

Gordon Frost is a survivor. He outlived all of his friends after bombs decimated the hardscrabble neighborhood he grew up in, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it’s his, and it beats the skin trade he was involved with before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that once seemed good enough isn’t quite the same.

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.

Trigger warnings: Graphic sex, violence, and drug use.

Stood Up (The Family Jules Book, #3) by Sean Ashcroft Review

     Stood Up (The Family Jules Book 3) by Sean Ashcroft 3 Stars

Riley Jules has been in love with Brent Morrison since they were fifteen years old. He always thought the day of Brent’s wedding would be bittersweet, but he couldn’t have predicted that Brent’s fiancée would leave him standing at the altar.

With his best friend hurting, all Riley can think of is how desperately he wants to comfort Brent–but then one thing leads to another, and before he knows it, they’re falling into bed together. It seems like a one-time thing, but…

Maybe Riley’s feelings aren’t so one-sided after all.

Brent’s had a lot go wrong in his life–his parents dying, being left to raise his little sister alone, and now being humiliated in front of all of Hope Springs–but maybe the one good thing he could have is Riley.

That is, if he could just get Riley to stay in one place for more than five minutes.

Can Riley and Brent grab hold of their moment and keep each other close?

 

Review

I was very much looking forward to this last book in the Family Jules. As much as I like Riley and Brent, the book drags.

They need to talk more and the side plot of why Brent was jilted. I like the Brent is kind but the romance unspools slowly. A bit more talking would improve the love story.

 

Aftermath by E. Davies Review

  Aftermath by E. Davies 3,5 Stars!

I’m off the market for a few months.”

Santa Barbara fire chief Jace Williams has found rock bottom. Suspended from work while a fatality is investigated, unable to escape dreams about that day, distant from his family, he has nowhere to turn for consolation. He just got the divorce judgement from his cheating husband, but he’ll only be a single man in six months’ time, thanks to California law. How did his perfect, organized life turn into this disaster?

“You boys make each other happy.”

As messy and spontaneous as Jace is tidy, Charles Bryan comes across as carefree, which is why he instantly dislikes Jace. A former self-harmer, he still needs the adrenaline rush of hang-gliding, so he teaches it and practices as a hobby, in between visiting his aging father. His dad keeps asking when he’ll bring back Justin, his ex… and he’s never had the heart to tell him he dumped the abusive bastard years ago. But it’s easy to hide a lot with a smile, and he follows a whim into reserved Jace’s arms.

“Against the odds, I like you.”

Despite their clashing personalities, they have a lot in common under the surface. Planning a wedding together gives them both something to do… and someone to tease. When Charlie’s dislike of strings and Jace’s reluctance to commit until the divorce is finalized give way to growing affection, neither of them know what to do. They didn’t expect to find the one at the best, yet worst, possible time. Is this what real love feels like?

 

Review

This is an opposites attract romance between two men who have been closed off in different ways. It is a lovely story in which they can’t seem to help falling in love with each other.

Jace is going through a painful divorce. Charlie is dealing with his ill parent.

They both have jobs which define them and they find each other and comfort each other and banter and heal.

Good stuff! I hope there is more in this series.

Solid Education by Bianca Sommerland Review

   Solid Education (Higher Learning Book 1) by Bianca Sommerland 2 Stars 

Gage Tackett comes off as a bad boy—detached and maybe a little dangerous. Definitely not Vet Sciences Professor Derek Paulson’s type. Which he tells himself, repeatedly, every time the other man attends his class.

Until the day he looks over to see Gage’s seat is empty.

When Gage arrives at Derek’s veterinary clinic with a frostbitten stray dog, the lines of their teacher/student relationship are blurred. Derek realizes his most difficult student has a few things to teach him.

Things he’s more than willing to learn.

 

Review

Well, the dog is great but I never get over what a jerk Derek is to Gage.

Professor shouldn’t treat students that way and I don’t mean the falling in love thing. He is just cold and unreasonable.

However, I did love the way Gage resolves the teacher student thing without drama and how he goes after what he wants. There is also a nice epilogue.

Afterglow by E. Davies Review

    Afterglow by E. Davies 3.5 Stars!

Chris Black, a firefighter in Santa Barbara, is finally out and trying to make up for lost time. He has no trouble finding men, but their first dates end behind his bedroom door. Nobody sticks around except his ex, who leaves him feeling rotten after every booty call. Being passed over for a promotion thanks to his loud mouth is another blow. Most of all, it’s coming home to an empty house that’s wearing down his optimistic spirits. Answering a cry for help sends him straight to the side of a man who’s his opposite, but everything he wants.

“No more me. Good.”

The last glimmer of hope for Ash’s future vanished when he came home to find his now-ex, drugs, and four guys in their living room. With nobody by his side, in a hotel room in the small hours, the fog of depression lifts and pushes Ash into action at last. Standing on the balcony railing, he sees a glimpse of freedom and takes a step toward it. Seconds later, his body and spirit broken, Ash is pretty sure he’s died after all when he sees a gorgeous stranger fighting to keep him alive.

“I’m safer on the ground.”

When Ash falls through his porch on the way home from the hospital, Chris can’t resist offering his guest room. Ash will get the help he needs to adjust to his new limits, and Chris will get a friend, even if he wants more. The close quarters push them both to realize life is brighter and more fleeting than they knew. Each man faces danger from within and outside. Can they make it through the flames to fall in love?

 

Review

Ash is in a very bad emotionial state when Chris meets him. Even though, it seems like a horrible idea to get involved with him, Chris offers him a place to stay and they fall in love despite being really different people.

I enjoyed this ‘I love you as you are” romance. There are parts that are rushed over for the kind of character exploration I like best but I liked Chris’s sunny honesty and Ash’s willingness to let him in.

Afterburn by E. Davies Review

   Afterburn by E. Davies 3.5 Stars! 

Santa Barbara firefighter Liam Knight is in hot water for showing up late after chasing yet another pretty guy into bed. It’s just an accident—Liam’s never let hookups get in the way of work before. He only agrees to therapy to keep the chief happy. When he bumps into a pretty guy working in the craft store below his apartment, Dylan seems like the perfect thing to relieve Liam’s stress… until he catches Liam’s interest and protective instinct, not just his eye.

“I’m not good enough for him.”

The only thing Dylan Waters needs less than the distraction of love is the alternative medicine his mother wants to foist him into. He’s juggling part-time jobs at a therapy office and craft store while attending college to become an art therapist. Worse, he’s about to transfer to a huge campus, but his childhood left him afraid of crowds. When hunky firefighter Liam blusters into his PTSD knitting support group, Dylan spots the familiar signs of a man hiding from his past, but he can’t stop thinking about him.

“It was nothing. I thought I was over it.”

It’s more than fleeting attraction between them, but Dylan’s stubborn fear of help and Liam’s low self-esteem are a deadly combination. When it all goes up in smoke, they only have themselves to blame. Can Liam get to Dylan in time to save him and the one relationship that could make him believe in love?

Reviews

I was a little reluctant to start this series at it seemed a little darker in terms of the characters’ issues, however, this book and others turned out to be uplifting tales about loving each other imperfections and struggles and all.

Liam is a firefighter who isn’t doing well well but doesn’t really know it. I like how the book deals with the hypersexual aspect of PTSD and how for once the hero gets therapy.

Dylan has his own struggles with panic. They meet and starting dating and it is a lovely journey in a great setting in Santa Barbara.

Eggplant Highlights and Mustard Yellow Jeans by Sarah Hadley Brook Review

   Eggplant Highlights and Mustard Yellow Jeans by Sarah Hadley Brook 2.5 Stars

Seth Robinson manages a local kitchen boutique and has had a crush on a customer who frequents the shop. Though too shy to start up a conversation about anything other than kitchen appliances or the newest cooking gadget, Seth still hopes to catch the other’s eye. Seth has a tendency to change his hair color a lot, and when he gets purple highlights, it finally sparks a conversation between the two men.

Chris Berger runs a catering business in Bellflower and loves visiting Karlee’s Kitchen Essentials, where he can chat with the cute manager. He has a unique way of looking at the world and colors and is intrigued by Seth’s highlights.

Unfortunately, when they manage to get together, they’re both dealing with major upheavals in their lives. Will they be strong enough to work together to find their happily ever after?

 

Review

I  loved the title and the idea of a shy hero.

This romance ended up being pretty dull. The plot was fairly ho hum and the character detail just not enough for me. Both heroes felt like sketches.

The writing was decent but just not compelling me to emotionial invest. Not funny enough, or complex enough, Just ho hum.

Only For Him (Only Forever #2) by Shawn Lane Review

   Only for Him by Shawn Lane 2 Stars

Barnaby Lassiter has had a thing for attorney, Nathan Llewellyn, since he began working at the law firm as an admin assistant. Too bad conservative Nathan doesn’t seem to know the flamboyant Barnaby is alive.

But a chance to take care of Nathan when he is ill, leads to a date and then so much more. Nathan continues to have doubts. Barnaby is the hottest man he’s ever known, but their differences worry him. He’s seen too many relationships that don’t make it.

All of his fears are realized when he sees the popular, too appealing Barnaby in action at a club. When Nathan thinks their differences are too much to overcome after all, Barnaby is left with a broken heart and an uncertain future. And Nathan’s left wondering if he’s just made the biggest mistake of his life by letting Barnaby go.

Review

I really wanted to read this book even though I thought the first one in the series was just okay because I really liked Barnaby.

I still like him and I like Nathan. However, the writing is just flat. The character lack depth and the plot is dull. I don’t need drama but I want deep character exploration and I just don’t get that here.

City Boy (Hot off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp 4 Star Review

    City Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 1) by A.E. Wasp 4 Stars! 

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a white knight named Dakota, pro-hockey player Bryce Lowery discovers he is most definitely gay.

Being with Dakota opens up a whole new world. Bryce can’t imagine life without him. But he refuses to be Bryce’s dirty little secret. If he wants to keep Dakota, he’s either going to have to come out publicly or retire and walk away from millions of dollars.

Bryce Lowery feels like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. But is Dakota willing to leave the only life he’s ever known only to be thrust into the spotlight as the boyfriend of the first out gay hockey player? Would their relationship even survive it?

He’ll lose Bryce if he doesn’t because Bryce will leave eventually. No one would turn down millions of dollars for a nobody with nothing.

Review

Awww. This is a great romance. Bryce and Dakota are wonderful together. Bryce falls into a gentle giant category of hero who has been clueless about his own sexual orientation though many around him have not. He is kind and so hardworking.

Dakota is younger and has had one fairly abusive relationship in the past but he is also kind.

The meet up of theses too and their circumstances are a bit over the top but they talk about it like grown ups which is nice. The sex is hot but so is the communication.

The issues with coming out in sports are well done. The cast and setting are great.

The villain is a bit flat and uncomplicated but overall this is a really lovely book and I am hooked on this author now.

Ex-Boyfriend Material by Sean Ashcroft Review

Review:

Ex-Boyfriend Material - Sean Ashcroft

Alex is smart, charming, and attractive. Good at approaching people and getting them to sleep with him, his talents fall down when it comes to maintaining a relationship. His last boyfriend left him with a broken heart and without half the rent, so now he needs a new roommate. This time, he wants someone mature, sensible, and not even a little bit attractive to him.

What he gets is Liam–funny, gorgeous, and surprisingly put-together for a man who doesn’t own a single shirt without a stain on it and has an incurable oral fixation. 

After months of feeling as though he can never move on while he lives in London, America is Liam’s fresh start. His breakup with his girlfriend left him heartbroken, and home only reminds him of everything he’s lost. With a twelve-month contract on offer, the chance to take a break is too good to pass up. All he needs now is a roommate, since his company-organised apartment has fallen through.

He runs across Alex’s Craigslist posting and thinks the other man seems perfect–little does he know that his new roommate is also nursing a broken heart, and coping with it by sleeping his way through the entire population of New York.

Both of them know the dangers of getting into a relationship with their roommates. Alex spent months stuck in a relationship that made him increasingly unhappy, Liam had to move away from his home to give himself a chance to heal.

They seem to soften each other’s rough edges, fill the gaps in each other’s lives. But love is risky, and their hearts are fragile–can they learn to trust one another and take the chance to have a home in each other’s arms? Or will their pasts and their fears get in the way of their happiness?

 

Review

 

This is a slow burn romance with one demisexual hero and one introvert hero with self esteem issues.

It is slow going and there is a nice exploration of demisexuality as well as bisexuality. 

The heroes become roommates, then friends and then finally lovers. 

I would have liked to spend more time with them as lovers and see them bloom a little more but it was an enjoyable read.

 

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